Family of former Miss USA Cheslie Kryst invites community to honor her life on birthday

FORT MILL, S.C. — The family of Cheslie Kryst honored her life Thursday on what would be her 31st birthday.

[ALSO READ: ‘Forever changed’: Mother says loss of daughter, former Miss USA Cheslie Kryst has been devastating]

Kryst, a Charlotte-native and former Miss USA, died by suicide in January.

Her family and the community released balloons on Thursday at the Fort Mill High School Stadium.

(Watch the video below: ‘I didn’t want to believe it’: Friend and mentee of Cheslie Kryst expresses shock over her passing)

Instead of flowers, Kryst’s family is asking for donations to her favorite nonprofits.

Kryst volunteered at Dress for Success Charlotte.

The group supports women who need help in the workforce with things, such as resume writing and putting together a wardrobe.

Since Kryst’s death, the group created the Cheslie Kryst Women’s Advancement Fund.

“It’s been tremendous not only here in Charlotte, but around the world, because Dress for Success is an international organization,” said Kerry Barr O’Connor, executive director.

>>Mental Health Resources

O’Connor said Kryst was a major loss to the organization.

“What she did in the time she was with us, impacted so many women,” O’Connor said.

>>Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255 get more information at SuicidePreventionLifeline.org.

Here is a list of the only approved organizations that are set up to receive charitable donations in Kryst’s honor:

  • Dress For Success – The Cheslie Kryst Women’s Advancement Fund
  • Wake Forest University School of Law – The Cheslie C. Kryst Social Justice Scholarship
  • University of South Carolina – The Cheslie C. Kryst Scholarship Fund
  • The Dean’s List – The Cheslie C. Kryst Woman In Media Award